Research and Development Section (R&DS)
The pace of technology development is relentless. Judicial overarching changes in many areas are seen due to developments of modern technology and communications. Judicial and legal development pose challenges and opportunities that needed to be studied and explored. Therefore, the Research and Development Section conducts multi-disciplinary field projects on law in variety of issues and spotting the issues can often lead to invention. The R&D shall also introduce new legal developments and processes into the overall strategy of the BNLI and make recommendations for the improvement in the administration of justice.
This Section is responsible for promoting studies in traditional Bhutanese laws and advancing studies and research in the field of Bhutanese Laws, legal system and other related fields. The Section shall also have responsibilities of streamlining the methodology of legal research schemes, studying the existing framework of the Judiciary and Legal System in Bhutan, monitoring the frontiers between national and international laws, legal instruments and legal culture, and establishing institutional linkages. More importantly, this Section shall be responsible to identify and streamline training needs for judicial personnel through constant research. The following are brief outlines of the areas of research of this Section:
- Review and analysis of important court judgments – Although laws are uniform, with the same processes, there are different interpretation of the laws. Therefore, different judges come up with different judgments, even if fact of the caeses are similar. With the development of the country, the nature of cases change and decision tend to change. While many cases are not important on a national scale, there are aslo many noteworthy cases that merit mention and analysis for future references as precedents. As an attempt to consolidate such important judgments, R&D shall review and analyse the important court judgments that would help consolidate and add to the data bank for future reference
- Types of judgments rendered – the Royal Court of Justices is the final arbiter of all the laws in the country. While the courts entertain all the cases that merit consideration, different courts tend to interpret the same law differently. Therefore, it is important for the R&D to consider different types of judgments rendered by the courts to analyze the difference in judgment in similar cases.
- Performance analysis of the courts – Courts are scattered all across the country. Therefore, different courts based on the location, seem to have different level of information. The possession of information directly impacts the performance of the judges. As different courts might perform differently, as the discretion and mental acumen of the judge might differ. Therefore, performance analysis of the judges and different courts would enable the Institute to rate the performance which in turn will facilitate the training for the judges.
- Comparative analysis of the judicial notification – Judicial notifications are issued from time to time by the Royal Courts of Justice. The judicial notifications act as an important public notice. Therefore, in order to share such important notifications after careful compilation and analysis of the notifications for easy reference and perusal by relevant agencies and stakeholders, to whom the judicial notification has been issued, the R&D shall do comparative analysis of the judicial notification if necessary.
- Research on Emerging Legal Issues and Legislations passed by the Parliament – As judiciary progresses, the Royal Court of Justice are faces with different emerging legal issues. With the change in time, legal issues tend to change. Therefore, as the legal issues change, numerous Bills and new legislations are passed by the Parliament. Researches on emerging legal issues are an important area to keep the judges abreast on the changes in the laws and the legal scenarios in the country. While many bills and legislations are passed by the Parliament, few are informed and senitized on the new legislations and amendments thereto. In order to assist the judiciary to make informed decisions based on new legislations and amendments brought by the Parliament, research and compilation of the same including emerging legal issues is an important step towards sensitization of the judges.
- Research and Publication – Access to justice is an important area to enable the legal remedies for the aggrieved. Although little research has been initiated on access to justice in the country by the Institute, it is imperative for the R&D to conduct, update and make the research publications available for public domain. The following provides some of the important publications to be made by the R&D:
(i) Bhutan Law Review: Assist in writing quality articles for the Bhutan Law Review.
(ii) Legal Pamphlets: Legal Pamphlets on different aspects of laws can be continued and initiated. Legal pamphlets can be diversifted on the following legislations and topics:
- Making of agreements;
- Mediations processes;
- Court procedures;
- Agreement sample on mediation; and
- Any matters deem necessary in the interest of the general public.
(iii) Annual Report: Like any other organization, annual report for the Institute can be made and compiled. The annual report should contain the activities carried out by the Institure for the particular calendar year, challenges faced in implementing the activities, and any other matters deem fit to be reported.
iv) Legal Commentaries: Legal commentaries on the judgments rendered by different courts are imperative and impending. Presently, a few or no legal commentaries are written on any of the judgments rendered by the court of law. Therefore, R&D Section shall take up this responsibility of publishing legal commentaries on important judgments from different courts of law which would enable judges and the legal fraternity to analyze the legal issues of the cases.
(v) Research Services to the courts – This is a long-term strategy of the Institute. The Institute shall endeavor to provide research services to the Justices of the Supreme Court and High Court and other judicial officers. In doing so, the Institute would require research capacity. The research services to the courts should be categorized to enable and streamline research services.
- Translation of legal materials – On need basis, the Section shall assist in the translation of legal materials from either of the languages i.e. Dzongkha to English and vice versa. The Section may also seek the assistance of other Sections if the translation is deemed important and necessary in the interests of justice and information.